Robles is the family name

Robles (singular)

the Robleses (plural)

Robles's (singular possessive)

Robleses' (plural possessive)

Is that right, or did I just jack it up?

Too many s's.

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Replies to This Discussion

Perfection, Kyung. Nicely done. That's one of those things hardly anyone gets right - especially anyone dealing with the news on TV or any sort of publication. Drives me crazy.

A follow-up question for the court reporters among us:

Do you only use the s' if the person does not pronounce the second s?

Mr. Robles' car (said Robles)
Mr. Robles's car (said Robleses)

the Robleses' house (said Robleses)
the Robleses's house (well, no one would say Robleseses!)
Excellent question, Denise!! There are differing schools of thought on this:
1) add the "s" only when the "s" is heard (my preference)
2) add only the apostrophe only on the end of any word that ends with "s"
3) add the apostrophe and the "s" no matter what

Personally, I only put the "s" if it's said. Sometimes it's not said; sometimes it is. It becomes particularly important in a videotaped depo.

Here's what CMOS Rule 5.26 says:
Possessives of titles and names. The possessive of a title or name is formed by adding ’s {Lloyd’s of London’s records} {National Geographic Society’s headquarters} {Dun & Bradstreet’s rating}. This is so even when the word ends in a sibilant {Dickens’s novels} {Dow Jones’s money report}, unless the word itself is formed from a plural {General Motors’ current production rate} {Applied Materials’ financial statements}. But if a word ends in a sibilant, it is acceptable (especially in journalism) to use a final apostrophe without the additional s {Bill Gates’ testimony}.

Also this:
Nouns plural in form, singular in meaning. When the singular form of a noun ending in s looks like a plural and the plural form is the same as the singular, the possessive of both singular and plural is formed by the addition of an apostrophe only. If ambiguity threatens, use of to avoid the possessive.
politics’ true meaning
economics’ forerunners
this species’ first record (or, better, the first record of this species)

The same rule applies when the name of a place or an organization (or the last element in the name) is a plural form ending in s, such as the United States, even though the entity is singular.
the United States’ role in international law
Highland Hills’ late mayor
Calloway Gardens’ former curator
the National Academy of Sciences’ new policy

An alternative practice. Those uncomfortable with the rules, exceptions, and options outlined above may prefer the system, formerly more common, of simply omitting the possessive s on all words ending in s—hence “Dylan Thomas’ poetry,” “Maria Callas’ singing,” and “that business’ main concern.” Though easy to apply, that usage disregards pronunciation and thus seems unnatural to many.
This man said it. But in this case, I might put it even if he didn't say it bec. all forms were being used. I had singular, plural, singular possessive, and plural possessive. And if I didn't use it, you might not be able to differentiate between these things.
nope, not too many "ses"!! they all look right to me!!

the only 'option' (if you can call it that) is this one:

Robles's (singular possessive)

some say you can add apostrophe only. I seem to remember something
about "double hissers and strange Greeks" (if you had Steve Burris for English)
being the ones you add apostrophe only to.
but, again, punctuation is subjective (to quote Steve)

and, Marla, thanks for taking the time to quote your English book!! I didn't
even think about United States' role... I probably would have written it as:
United States's role... now that I see that, it does look a bit odd with the two 's'es.

To me, I think you should only put the "s" if they say it. So if somebody said "United States-ez role," I'd do United States's. But if they don't pronounce that "s" after the apostrophe, I don't put it in.

I think it's more appropriate for us, as verbatim reporters, to put what's said, especially since there's no absolute rule saying which is right and which is wrong. Just my two cents.
Okay, now that I've gotten to the bottom of this string, my head hurts :-)


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